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Empire and Ecologies Online Conference

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An interdisciplinary symposium examining the construction of nature by various forms of imperial power across a range of periods & locations

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Empire and Ecologies: Transimperial, transhistorical and transregional natures from the 17th to the 21st century

The symposium’s synchronous roundtable and panel discussions will be held Thursday, July 1 and Friday, July 2, 2021, online (via Zoom).

Responding to scholarship that has emphasised the ecological consequences of the long histories of empire and how, in turn, empires are shaped by environments, ‘Empire and Ecologies’ takes a humanities-centred and multidisciplinary approach to methodological issues and case studies that examine the construction of nature by various forms of imperial power across a range of periods and locations.

‘Empire and Ecologies’ aims to facilitate conversations across transhistorical and transimperial contexts: from the imperialism of the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries to forms of ‘new imperialism’ in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and a range of locations, from colonies and metropoles of Anglophone empire to Hispanophone and Russian/Soviet contexts of empire.

Bringing together different disciplinary perspectives—such as literary and cultural scholarship, postcolonial studies, science and technology studies, transnational studies, critical Indigenous studies, creative praxis, and the history of colonial commodities and natural resources—this symposium will offer new perspectives on the following themes: blue humanities; disaster and environmental crisis; empire and built environments in the Atlantic world; extractivism; biodiversity and critical Indigenous studies; and ecologies in the empires of antiquity.

As part of the event’s panel on ‘creative praxis of empire and ecologies’, there will be a live screening of Dr Amy Cutler’s new short film, commissioned for the event. The roundtable panel will present a range of methodologies and frameworks for investigating and analysing a variety of forms of extractivism.

Roundtable speakers include: Professor Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia), Dr Katayoun Shafiee (Warwick), Professor Madhu Krishnan (Bristol), Dr Simon Jackson (Birmingham), Professor Sukanya Banerjee (Berkeley), chair: Dr Sharae Deckard (UCD).

Full programme listing to follow.

Funded by the UCD Humanities Institute Seed Funding Scheme and the European Research Council (SouthHem Project)

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